Motivation. Dedication. Perseveration.

I think we all know that emotional eating is a dangerous thing. The consequences of alleviating emotions with food can manifest itself in even more emotional turmoil as well as create physical scars and loads of unhappiness.

But you know what? I’m an emotional eater when it comes to pancakes, and I fully own up to this one. Feeling sad? Time for pancakes. Angry? Some pancakes will do.  Stressed? Sounds like its time for breakfast for dinner. With some pancakes.

Imagine my deep sadness when I realized that pancakes just wouldn’t fit into my primal lifestyle.  I think I have, to this day, tried every Paleo pancake recipe listed on every Paleo blog, cookbook, and Instagram account I laid my eyes on. No offense to the creators, but their pancakes just weren’t good enough for my overly critical pancake palate. So I decided to create my own pancakes, which was much, much harder than I initially anticipated. A problem with recreating recipes into Paleo recipes is the lack of gluten. Gluten is a binding ingredient: it is what makes cakes airy, makes cookies not equivocal to bricks, and makes pancakes fluffy. Essentially, gluten is a miracle in creating amicably textured food, and devastation in gut health for many people. (Side note: why has gluten become so problematic in many people? Here is one theory linked to mycotoxins by Dave Asprey of Bulletproof. Definitely worth a read.) So amid my pancake-less fueled depression, I started to build my own perfect Paleo pancake recipe. The first batch I burned so badly that they were inedible. The second batch tasted solely like gritty coconut flour. Batches 3-10 were either too watery, too dense, not fluffy, or flavorless. Sometime after my 10th attempt, I finally started to move in the right direction, and now, finally, I have created a pancake recipe that suits my tastes. I’ve tried to perfect this recipe so many times that I can’t tell you what attempt number this final one is.

Motivation. Dedication. Perseveration. Never give up. Pancakes 4 eva.

Paleo Protein Pancakes

Makes 4-5 medium sized pancakes

  • 1 egg
  • Dash of salt
  • ½ cup canned coconut cream
  • ½ tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup cashew flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 scoop (about 23 grams) whey protein*
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum**
  • Coconut oil spray, coconut oil, or grass-fed butter for frying
  • Berries, almond butter, kefir, or dark chocolate shavings for topping, optional.
  • Syrup***
  1. In a large bowl, whisk egg thoroughly and then add salt. Let rest for 4 minutes.
  2. Add coconut cream, vanilla, and raw honey to bowl with egg and stir until incorporated.
  3. Add coconut flour and cashew flour to mixture and mix well.
  4. Add baking soda and baking powder and continue mixing.
  5. When all ingredients are well mixed, add water slowly.
  6. Add whey protein and ensure powder has incorporated well into batter.
  7. Finally, mix in the xanthan gum to thicken the mixture.
  8. If using butter or oil to fry your pancakes, heat in a pan until melted. If using spray, spray the pan. When the pan is warm enough, pour batter into the frying pan in approximately ¼ cup increments.
  9. When small bubbles start to appear on the surface of the batter (about 3 minutes) in the frying pan, flip to other side.  Watch these pancakes carefully! They burn easily.)
  10. Top with toppings if you desire, and serve.

Some notes:

  • *Make sure the protein powder you use it gluten free and comes for sustainable, organic sources.
  • ** Xanthan gum is a thickener many gluten free bakers use to thicken their batters. Although this recipe only calls for 1 tsp. of xanthan gum, it is essential for the texture of these pancakes. If you do not have, or do not wish to use xanthan gum, you can thicken your batter by adding more coconut four, 1 tsp. at a time. However, your pancakes will taste more coconutty.
  • ***In moderation, syrup is Paleo. Why? Because the sugar found in syrup is unrefined. Also, it is from a plant. (Tree.) So we can pretty much call syrup a salad, right? Right. ;)

Florida is for (Food) Lovers

Readers, I am so sorry. I think it has been the longest I’ve ever gone without writing a post. In the past two weeks, I somehow managed to get stuck working overtime, get stuck in traffic constantly both ways, and successfully evaded my lovely, comfy apartment for 15-hour spans at a time. Ugh. In the middle all of that, I traveled to Florida. Because really, what’s a girl to do when she’s exhausted? Sleep first, of course. Then go to Florida.

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Whoever started the whole "Virginia is for Lovers" trend has never been to Florida. Or maybe they have, and they're bitter that they live in Virginia and not Florida. (Who wouldn't be? I would be.... Although I realize that DC is essentially Virginia without the southern accent and a whole lot of government. Or DC could be Maryland, if that's your choice and you're in love with the Chesapeake and crabs...but whatever, I'm rambling. ) 

One of the best family vacations I've been on was in Miami, where my family descended upon the beach at Christmastime and stayed at the magical modern wonderland that is the Delano. (Hotel of my dreams.) On that Christmas, I sat on the beach and drank a whole bottle of rose champagne in my bikini. Ever since then, my grandmother is convinced that I am on my sweet, sweet bubbly way to alcohol addiction. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

Flying next to this lightning storm almost made me pee my pants in-flight, but I did get some incredible iPhone shots. 

Flying next to this lightning storm almost made me pee my pants in-flight, but I did get some incredible iPhone shots. 

In my last post, I shared a little of my traveling-while-staying-Paleo tips, so this time, I’m going to expand a little by sharing with you a simple on-the-go Paleo recipe.

It can be a challenge to stay true to Paleo when the people around you don’t follow the same diet, but this particular recipe is so good that your non-Paleo travel companions will try some with you. I promise. In this particular recipe, the protein powder and ground flax seed both pack and travel well in reusable containers, and almond milk and bananas can be purchased nearly anywhere. MCT oil and aloe are a bit trickier to travel with, but they can be disguised as cosmetics in your toiletries bag. (You are so welcome for that tidbit of advice. J )

In addition to traveling, I routinely use this recipe after or before a tough workout, and occasionally on my way to work. It really fills me up, and tastes so decadent even though it has a ton of health boosters in it. I like hemp based proteins the best because I’ve found that it comes from sustainable, natural sources, and it doesn’t give me a stomachache. (Anyone else get stomachaches with conventional protein powder products?) The health benefits of hemp are also pretty impressive.

I'm becoming increasingly convinced that the incorporation of flax seed into my diet has cleared up a lot of my residual acne, and has made my skin appear more radiant than any other remedy I've tried. Finally, MCT oil, or medium triglyceride chains, will give your body a great, all natural energy boost that fuels your brain for less brain fog and increased cognition. I'm not an expert on MCT oil, but I have noticed an increase in energy levels such I started supplementing with it. If you do not supplement with MCT oil, you need to And finally: aloe. Aloe is such a great all natural cure for anything from sunburns to acne to reduced inflammation to boosted immunity. It tastes disgusting, but since I've started supplementing with it, I haven't gotten sick. Seriously, there was a week where my work was quarantined with a GI bug. Almost all of the rehab team came down with the bug despite full universal precautions, but I was just fine. (And guess what? It's a succulent. <3333)

This recipe doesn't need all the extra supplements, but isn't supplementing with a chocolate summer-inducing smoothie better than just taking a bunch of pills? Yep, I think so too ;)

Chocolate Health Elixir Smoothie

Makes 1 smoothie

  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or nut milk of preference. You can use chocolate almond milk for extra chocolatelyness, just make sure it is unsweetened to avoid added sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp. alcohol free vanilla extract
  • 1 medium overripe (brown and spotty) banana
  • 1/4 cup chocolate hemp protein powder
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 3 tbsp. MCT oil
  • 1 tbsp. aloe plant extract
  • 1/3 cup ice
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until ice has broken into small pieces.
  2. Blend until incorporated. (Wasnt that easy?)